This week, Murfreesboro will be bustling with costumed kids at various Halloween festivities in search of fun and candy. Your local public safety officials want to make sure that you are able to celebrate Halloween safely.
MPD officers will be out patrolling neighborhoods, looking for reckless drivers, speeders, and drivers under the influence. All drivers are urged to slow down and stay alert for pedestrians. Special attention should be used when backing out of a driveway.
“Murfreesboro offers a lot of fun events on and around Halloween,” said Fire Rescue Chief Mark Foulks. MFRD will be present at several of those events throughout the city, including Patterson Park’s “Pumpkin Patch” and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office’s “Trunk or Treat.”
“With all the fun this week entails, it’s easy to forget some common safety practices,” Foulks said. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Halloween is one of the top five calendar days for candle fires. “Battery-operated candles are a great alternative to illuminate jack-o’-lantern decorations,” Foulks added. “They are very realistic and much safer.”
MFRD and MPD would like to offer these additional safety tips:
• When choosing a costume, stay away from billowing or long trailing fabric to aid in preventing your child from tripping or falling. If your child is wearing a mask, make sure the eye holes are large enough so they can see out.
• Make sure costumes are brightly colored or at least have reflective markings to make them visible to motorists. Reflective tape can be used to trim costumes and treat bags.
• When using a toy firearm with a costume, make sure the toy gun has an orange tip on the end of the barrel.
• Give and accept wrapped or packaged candy only.
• Children should only accept treats from people they know.
• Parents should warn children to have an adult examine all treats before they are eaten.
• It may be wise to have children eat before they go out so they will be less likely to eat candy prior to inspection.
*According to the National Fire Protection Association, “Decorations are the first thing to ignite in 1,000 reported home fires each year.”
• Dried flowers, cornstalks and crepe paper are highly flammable. Keep these and other decorations well away from all open flames and heat sources, including light bulbs and heaters.
• Use flashlights as alternatives to candles or torch lights when decorating walkways and yards. They are much safer for trick-or-treaters, whose costumes may brush against the lighting.
• Remember to keep exits clear of decorations so nothing blocks escape routes.
General Safety Tips
• Parents should accompany children, especially small children, while they are trick-or-treating.
• Provide children with flashlights or glow sticks to carry for lighting.
• Warn children to NEVER enter the home or car of someone they do not know.
• Instruct children never to run out into the street and to always look both ways before crossing.
• Tell children to stay away from open flames. Be sure they know how to stop, drop, and roll if their clothing catches fire. (Have them practice: Stopping immediately, dropping to the ground, covering their face with their hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.)
• If children are going to Halloween parties at a friend’s home, have them look for ways out of the home and plan how they would get out in an emergency.
• Suspicious activity should be reported to MPD immediately by calling 615-893-1311.